MELBOURNE, FL – Brevard Family Partnership’s signature child abuse prevention program, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. (Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support) will soon be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the county’s lead child welfare agency, with a new, free-standing location, management team and a mission to continue to reduce the number of children entering the foster care system through abuse prevention.
The BFP board of directors recently approved the action, clearing the way for the transition which will take place on November 23. BFP will retain ownership of the organization and provide initial funding for operations and services with the intention of Brevard C.A.R.E.S. becoming a self-supporting, independent, nonprofit entity within a few years.
Recognized for its innovative approach to abuse prevention, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. was launched in 2005 as BFP sought to reduce the number of children who were entering the foster care system by bringing stability to families so that children could safely remain in their homes.
The program offers a full-array of support services to families experiencing stressors that often lead to child abuse, abandonment and neglect. A key component is the concept of Family Team Conferencing, providing families with natural supports, such as family, friends, clergy and counselors that help them to develop and implement plans to ensure their stability and the health and welfare of their children.
Occupying a welcoming, nondescript, home-style building at 4085 N. US 1 in Rockledge, FL the C.A.R.E.S. facility will house staff offices, family meeting and counseling rooms, and a play area for children, as well as provide Internet and phone services for its clients. Valerie Holmes, currently BFP’s director of operations, Child and Family Services has been named Brevard C.A.R.E.S executive director and Kim Coviello, currently BFP’s Care Coordinator supervisor has been named Brevard C.A.R.E.S. program manager. The team will include Care Coordinators, Family Partners and administrative staff .
“This is an incredible opportunity for our agency to expand the C.A.R.E.S. program and, with its central location, provide prevention services to a greater number of people in need,” said BFP’s CEO, Dr. Patricia Nellius-Guthrie. “By operating the program in its own facility we’ll have the room to offer family team conferencing, individual counseling and access to services that we used to have to house in several offices across the county.”
Since inception, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. has provided support to over 2,100 children and families in Brevard County. Of these families, approximately twenty-percent self-referred, in that they sought assistance prior to a crisis; less than ten-percent of families in the program have been referred more than once. Success is due to the proactive participation of the families in need who openly engage in the strength-based program and build upon the skills developed and goals achieved within their family unit.
Brevard Family Partnership plans to market the C.A.R.E.S. brand regionally and nationally, providing other child welfare organizations with a complete replication package that includes services training, technical support and marketing strategies. The Academy for Educational Development, a nationally renowned and respected organization based in Washington, D.C. is currently completing validation of Brevard C.A.R.E.S. results data and assisting with the marketing materials an organization would use to promote their own C.A.R.E.S. program
Geo A. Ropert, APR
Community Based Care of Brevard, Inc.
Dba Brevard Family Partnership
760 North Dr., Ste. E
Melbourne, FL 32934
Phone: 321-752-4650 ext. 2084
Cell: 321-205-3155 (preferred)